Where are you going for Thanksgiving? Will you be one of the many millions traveling this year? Last year, the figure for numbers of people moving around the lower 48 on Thanksgiving Day was around 50 million. Everyone is moving like a river toward and through the world swirling like circles inside of circles and ending up at almost the same meal. It may be that 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just stop and remember what we share?
Remember to be grateful for everything that saves us, and all of creation that embraces and nurtures and quenches our thirst. To be grateful for a growing generation that learns before our eyes how to speak truth to power. To be grateful for all those who inhabit this world with us and in gratitude see how much we need each other. Being grateful is both a response to love and a generator of love.
Perhaps on Thanksgiving it’s a good day for us to remember that we are grateful for the things we love because of what they call us to become. To love creation calls us into a world of nature and color and the genius of creatures and the suffering caused by climate change. It pulls us into the actual place we live beyond sidewalks and the walls of our homes, or the seats of our cars, or the screens of our computers. Gratitude for creation and our love if it reminds us that nature is our true home.
To love children is to love what the world may become, and be grateful, in advance, for what they will do for others. To love children is to love into the future by influencing their experience of the present. To love children is to teach them things they might need to know. But mostly to show them how beautiful they are and how Jesus needs them to be his hands and they are beloved.
To love one’s neighbor pulls one across the globe, and into our backyards. Who are all these people? What are they doing traveling with us on this day? Eating turkey. Sharing life. Breathing. Laughing. Telling stories. Mourning loss. Being happy. Irritated with a cousin, or sibling. We are also grateful that there is a world where evening meals share different settings and a plenary of tastes. We are grateful for global neighbors. Among all the things that love can teach, our three great loves (Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, Love of Creation) teach us gratitude.